“By perseverance the snail reached the ark.”
Lately, the word perseverance has crept into my life from various sources like Bible readings, etc. I decided to do a bit of a word study since there is obviously a good reason for the Lord to have that word popping up over and over. I searched my Bible first, of course and then on the internet. As I was looking at the word on the internet–its definition,quotes, etc., I came immediately upon the quote above from Charles Spurgeon about the snail and that is where I got the title of my post from. The quote made me smile because I can relate with that snail! That is exactly how I feel at times when I want to accomplish something, like a very slow-moving snail, wondering if I will ever succeed at whatever it might be that I am trying to do.
So what is perseverance? The dictionary gives two definitions. The first, the secular definition, is “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success”. The second definition it calls the Christian definition. “Persistence in remaining in a state of grace until death”. The actress Julie Andrews simply defines it this way: “Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th!” That makes sense to me! There are a very large number of quotes from different folks regarding perseverance, too many to share here but you might find it fun to Google them.
I thought about why the Lord has me thinking so much about perseverance of late and the first thing that came to my mind was my recovery and rehab from knee surgery. He is reminding me and encouraging me in what I need to do for my surgery to have had the very best, most successful outcome. Persevere! Keep working every day at the exercises and walking–especially practicing walking correctly, not stiff-legged like I did before. There are times when it would be easy to tell myself I am too tired or it hurts too much today and any number of other excuses I know I could come up with. After all, I am the master at finding excuses to put off until tomorrow what I should do today! I’ve joked at times that my parents misnamed me–my middle name is Marie but it should have been procrastinator! 🙂 The Lord knows that all too well I am sure, so He is going to keep reminding me often I am sure!
As I searched through the Bible I found several verses that talk about perseverance and along with it in some cases, patience. I feel like the two words go together. One of the best examples of perseverance and patience together we can find in the book of Job. Everyone is familiar with the phrase “the patience of Job”. In James 5:11 NIV it says 11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” Somewhere else I read another explanation of perseverance that states it is endurance produced by trials and tribulations when we exercise faith. I would say that Job fits that definition most definitely. He suffered through many things but he never gave up. His faith in God kept him going; he had an inordinate amount of patience as well as perseverance!
Another who comes to mind is the Apostle Paul, who also suffered many, many trials and tribulations in his life, yet he wrote in his letter to the Romans the following:
Romans 5: 3-5 New International Version (NIV)
3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
There are many other examples in the Bible of course but Job and Paul really stand out to me and grab my attention. If they can go through all the things they suffered and still persevere then why should it be so difficult for me or any of us to do the same?
Along with perseverance and patience, we must include prayer. In Ephesians 6:18 it says “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— “. In my NKJV bible there was a note that said simply that without prayer, all the armor in the world would be of no use. Perseverance and patience in prayer are essential.
I could go on and on with all the references I found about perseverance, patience, prayer and self-control as well, but I won’t at this time. One of the important things I gained from my short study is that a person who exercises perseverance will not easily fall into discouragement or be tempted to quit. The secret of perseverance? View all circumstances as coming from the hand of our loving Father who is in control of everything in our lives. I find it very encouraging that God is always in control and that He will help me to persevere in the things I do. If the snail could make it to the ark, then I should be able to carry out my goals as well.
Oh and I just had to add in this little quote I found by an unknown source that I thought was kind of funny really. The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one often comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won’t.
Have a wonderful day filled with all of God’s blessings my friends! Thanks for taking time to read my post today! You are all a blessing to me.